Thursday, March 29, 2012


Despite my great respect for the Christian religion, one of my complaints about it is the large streak of moral perfectionism in it. Especially as this image of perfection clashes with the nature of the masculine soul. Despite the wisdom in Aquinas' dictum that grace does not erase nature but brings it to perfection, the practice of the Faith on the ground and in less capable hands has often felt just like erasure.

There is a greatly different message in a civilization that tries to mold and shape the natural male soul because it values it and one which seems mostly to want to quash it. At best, in the second case, you get confusingly mixed messages. What you hear in church seems unrelated to what you discover on the playground.

(In its pedagogically inept and conflicted way, it did some damage even in the hands of an all-male hierarchy and priesthood. In the hands of a female and feminist clergy, the harm to men would rise to the level of psychological gendercide.)

Perhaps because of that history, I have long been deeply suspicious of idealism, especially the kind which purports to describe what is but is essentially describing what ought to be, at least in the mind of believer. Liberalism, as I have noted, is awash in this kind of lying.

Jack Donovan's realistic new work on The Way of Men, in one sense validates all the nightmare fears of feminists about the male. He paints a picture of the masculine soul based firmly in the image and dynamics of the gang.  The work of a gang --a relatively small hierarchically bonded group of males-- is to stake out turf for us, against them, and to guard the perimeter and exercise control over territory. This means power exercised against and over (and for) nature, women, and other men. Violence and competition is inherent in the blueprint. And the needed masculine qualities are strength, courage, competence and honor. Patriarchy, as Mother Nature intended it. While ideologues seek to pre-empt nature by describing what a good man is, aka what they want him to be,  Donovan observes nature and first describes men who are good at being men, rightly saving the issue of how to make them good men for later.

The paradox of men is that they create civilization and culture, but they can also become its victims.

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